Bloomberg News

Dubai Buyout Firm Abraaj Focusing on Sales to Attract Investment

April 09, 2013

The Abraaj Group, the Middle East’s biggest buyout firm, said it plans to sell two to three of its investments this year to attract fresh capital for its funds.

“A key thing for us is achieving exits from the portfolios we’ve built up over the years,” Ahmed Badreldin, a senior partner at Abraaj, said in an interview at a Bloomberg conference in Doha yesterday. There is “appetite” for the Middle East and North Africa and “there are investors who want to invest in MENA only. Those are the ones we focus on and a key thing is demonstrating exits,” he said.

Fund-raising by private-equity firms in the Middle East and North Africa fell to $672 million in 2011, less than half the $1.5 billion of 2010, according to a study published last June by the MENA Private Equity Association, a Dubai-based lobby group. Firms struggled to attract investors as uprisings toppled governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and Europe’s sovereign- debt crisis worsened.

Abraaj, which has $7.5 billion of assets under management, plans to sell its stakes in Middle Eastern supermarket chain Spinneys, a Tunisian pharmaceuticals company and a unit of oil- and gas-service company Stanford Marine Group, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Feb. 12.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mahmoud Kassem in Doha at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net


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